Galveston National Laboratory (GNL), part of the University of Texas system, has become a focus for investigators trying to track down the origin of COVID-19.
GNL is the latest concern in a wide-ranging investigation into US-China academic and scientific ties.
“Universities provided unguarded access to sensitive if unclassified data; American research institutions became hubs for information collection and the recruitment of spies; and universities with large numbers of Chinese students engaged in self-censorship lest they offend the Chinese government,” said Patrick Cronin, Asia-Pacific security chair for the Hudson Institute. (Prominent university bio lab urged to reveal extent of relationship with Wuhan lab at center of coronavirus outbreak)
The linked article has a good deal of information and is well-worth reading in-full. For example, a number of US investigations have:
…cast scrutiny on China’s Thousand Talents Plan, an illustrious program tailored to recruit leading academics and promote domestic research. The contracts signed for the plan, to the ire of lawmakers and federal officials, mandated that “participating scientists abide by Chinese law, keep the contract secret, recruit postdocs and sign over any intellectual property rights to the sponsoring Chinese institution.”
According to concerned lawmakers, the contracts thus offer incentives for scientists to set up “shadow labs” in China that emulate U.S. taxpayer-funded research at their home institutions.
But with the novel coronavirus having claimed more than 60,000 lives in the United States alone, the Wuhan-U.S. academia trail is now being met with an even more discerning eye from Washington.
“The scope of China’s exploitation of our open universities, including medical, biology, and other scientific labs, is only recently coming into focus,” Cronin added. “At the end of 2019, the FBI and the NIH announced they were investigating 180 separate cases involving more than 70 institutions
“In almost all cases, the alleged theft of biomedical research information was done by Chinese citizens or Americans of Chinese descent. Bit by bit, China found ways into government scientific labs.”
One point I don’t see mentioned often enough is if COVID-19 evolved in nature and jumped to humans at the Wuhan market, or even at the Wuhan bio-lab, what is the original animal host population of the virus, what animal is it, and where is it? If no host population can be solidly identified, no matter how “natural” the virus looks nor how “natural” its evolution may appear, a more likely explanation for its capacity for human transmission is it was bred in a laboratory by human beings.
The following links are all unconfirmed but plausible and very consequential if true: